Green Bullet

Melanie Manner

The flashy green bullet shows that he has logged on... but in the world of instant messaging, things aren't always what they seem.

I didn't even notice when the little green bullet flashed up. There was something too familiar about it at the edge of my vision, at the edge of my screen. Besides, it was half covered by the open Firefox window and I was busy typing. But then, there was something too familiar about the shape of it, the length of the name next to the bullet and so I finally glanced up to see who had logged on.

It said that it was you.

Maybe Trillian does things like that
I stared at the bullet next to your name. I stared at the name. I willed the letters to change. Surely, there must be something misspelled, I thought. Perhaps it was FlaconBoy or FalconBox or anyone with a name similar to yours. But after I counted off the letters ten times, I stopped because they wouldn't change.

I knew it couldn't be you. Of course I knew. I'd seen you hanging from the bathroom ceiling myself, didn't I? I'd been there at your funeral, me and, what, 200 other people. All the guys from campus had come, too. I'd chucked the shovel full of earth on you and the rose and remembered how crooked your legs had been and how there was a tear in your Converse boot I would have patched up for you except I hadn't seen it until it'd been hanging there right in front of my face.

I knew it couldn't be you. I thought, maybe it's a glitch. Maybe Trillian does things like that. Maybe Trillian has a memory, is capable of producing déja vus.

Déja connus.

Déja aimés.

No, I thought, it must be something stupid. And I logged off.

But you were still there the next time I logged on. Then I got so mad, I had thought I'd never get so mad again. After the earth and the rose and the open hole they buried you in, I thought I would never feel that furious again. Because what was the point?

Sure, they kept telling me I was angry. Because I snarked at Hilda all the time. I snarked at her because she was a bitch who keeps stealing stuff out of the fridge and turns down the heater all the time, anyone would snark at her. I snarked at the cleaning lady, I snarked at the bus driver. I snarked, because I couldn't be angry. You would have understood that. Not angry.

Not like I was that day when I saw you hanging there in your torn up Converse and those jeans I'd washed for you the day before. You had no right to wear those jeans. Not for that.

But I don't want to talk about that.

So, I got mad. I called your mom's house. What did you expect me to do? What did you think I would do? They were the ones who had your computer. She might have had your password, how should I know? I know, I know, I shouldn't have. I got your mom on the phone and I said "What the hell do you think you're doing using his IM log-in?"

It was almost funny. She had no idea what I was talking about. There was this odd little sound like a muted sneeze and she burst into those hysterical tears of hers and then your sister got on the phone and she cussed me out and said "Don't ever call here again, you psycho. Haven't you done enough?"

She still thinks it, you know. Just as she told me at the funeral in that low, clipped voice of hers. She still thinks it is my fault. It was almost funny.

She said, she said. She said I shouldn't have left you. That's what she said.

Now I'm getting angry all over again. I was angry back then, I was angry now and I wanted to take that bright green bullet and smash it with all the rage in my head because what the fuck was it doing there? How could it not be your sister? Who could it be if not your sister?

So I grabbed that green bullet by its throat and I slammed it open and typed "Who the hell are you?" into the box.

And all you said was - "Let me go"

© Melanie Manner 2008 All Rights Reserved

Date and time of last update 23:41 Tue 11 Nov 2008
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